Apparently it’s that time of year again…

Saturday 21st November.

As is always the day after the storm passes through, there is blue sky and sunshine to enjoy and complement the brilliant white snow.  Sadly after a very mild November which saw a lot of trees holding on to their leaves, this turned out to be a very destructive storm as the snow was very heavy and wet.  The leaves then allow a lot more of the snow to accumulate, putting a lot of extra stress on to the trees and a lot came down taking the power with them.  We were fortunate in that regard, but 40,000 folks in metro Detroit were not.

Our giant Smokebush on the side of our house succumbed unfortunately.  I took the first and last photos above standing right underneath it yesterday, this morning two thirds of it was on the ground.

We can’t clean it up until later this week, when the warmer temps will melt the snow again, so we took ourselves off to our local State Park and strapped the bits of plastic to our feet again for the first time this season.  Conditions were less than perfect, what with wet snow and warm ground, but it was nice to be out enjoying the fresh air and getting some exercise.

Despite two little falls I managed ok… which is more than can be said about Andrew!  In fairness he’s trying to get the compacted snow off the base of his ski’s, but it would make a great photo for a caption contest!

Sparkles Challenge ~ Anything But A Card

Late to the party again but there has been a lot going on round here in the last week!

Our new monthly challenge at Sparkles Challenges is up and my lovely teamie Cathy, chose Anything But A Card, and boy did the DT have a lot of fun with this as we’ve all made something different.

We have an amazing three sponsors this month!

Bugaboo Stamps

Crafty Bren’s Embroidered Toppers

Marianne Designs Prize Package

Christmas is right around the corner so it might be a good time to knock those homemade gifts off your list.  That was my plan as I made these lovely cabled socks for my friend for her Christmas gift.

They’re called Wheatsheaf Socks and I made them with Holiday Yarns Flock Sock in the colour Amethyst.  I think they’ve turned in to my most favourite pair this year, so I hope she likes them.

I’ve also made a hat and cowl set for the gift pile but I couldn’t get my husband to help me take photos this past weekend, so socks it is!

We’d love to see what you can come up with for this challenge, have fun.


Sparkles Christmas Challenge ~ Christmas Decorations

Hello again peeps, November!!  EEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!!  Well, if you haven’t made your Christmas cards yet, I have bad news for you, it’s November!  Yikes.  Moving swiftly on, we have a new challenge at Sparkles Christmas starting today. We have the wonderfully simple theme of Christmas Decorations, lots of choice for you there so we expect to see lots of great entries again!

We are lucky to be sponsored by two fantastic sponsors this time round, and they are:

Who are offering a $25 voucher and

ccWho are offering a 10 pound voucher.


I used a really cute stamp that just doesn’t get enough love, this is Fluffy’s Garland from Stampendous, and as usual, Fluffy is getting into all kinds of trouble!

I used Christmas paper from DCWV, all from the scrap box and mounted it on to green card.  Fluffy was stamped and coloured with Prisma pencils and the baubles were covered with Stickles glitter glue and then Glossy Accents when the glitter had dried, so they’re incredibly sparkly and shiny in real life.  The die cut is from Memory Box and I added some red and gold pearls and gems to finish it off.  Nice and simple this month from me!

I hop you have time to join in with us again, please pop over to the main blog to see more wonderful inspiration from my team mates.

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge

Hello All – Yes, it’s November, can’t quite believe that myself, yet here we are!  Time for a new challenge at Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra.  As always we are sponsored by

And the DT get to use some of the fun stamps on our projects, this month I chose “Sign It North Pole

I used some DP from DCWV and added extra sparkle to the image with Yellow and Waterfall Stickles.

You can enter any project as long as it’s Christmas themed and also enter as many times as you’d like too.  After all, Christmas is right around the corner!

Sparkles Challenge ~ Lace And/Or Pearls

Middle of the month, time for a new challenge at Sparkles.  My teamie Maryvonne has chosen the lovely theme of Lace and/or Pearls so there should be plenty of scope for you there.

As always we have two fantastic sponsors for you again, a $15 voucher from:

And 3 digis from:


For my card I had an 80th birthday card to make for my Mother-in-Law and decided to use both lace and pearls, and to go for a girly, flowery, shabby chic kind of theme. This is what I came up with:

The two larger papers are Raspberry Road, from a book that was free with a UK card magazine a couple of years ago.  The smaller piece has a text background and was a digital off-cut.  I downloaded the free image of Violets from The Graphics Fairy, resized it in Word and changed to opacity to about 60% to make it look a bit faded out and printed it on to the text digi paper.

The edges of the papers were torn or folded and everything was edged with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo, I even stitched around the main piece too!  I added a strip of lace down the centre and added some pearl clusters from Michaels.

The focus of the card is the sentiment and the flowers and I’m really happy how they came out.

The sentiment if from Inkadinkado and it was embossed in black on to more of the Raspberry Road paper, it didn’t emboss as cleanly as I would have liked though.  I cut it out with a Marvy Uchida oval punch and then cut out two more ovals from thin card. These were stuck together and then the stamped oval was stuck to it to provide a bit of stability for the really thin paper Finally it was inked with the Distress Ink again and popped up on foam dots.  The bow is seam binding and the roses and Calla Lily are from Wild Orchid Crafts and they’re sitting on Martha Stewart punched leaves.  The stick pin in from Little Yellow Bicycle and I stuck it down with some Glossy Accents but when I arranged the flowers it moved and I didn’t notice!  It should have been down and to the right a bit, but I can’t do anything with it now!!  I’ll just have to call that a design feature!

So that’s what I did this month, I hope you can find time to join in the fun, we love to see your beautiful creations.  Please pop over to the main Sparkles blog, there’s a lot of pretty inspirations from my team mates.

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge ~ Mid Month Reminder

It’s the middle of October and here’s my card for the mid month reminder at Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge.

As always we have the wonderful Bugaboo as a sponsor and I used their image “Stocking Mouse’ for my card.

I also used a Memory Box die, a Martha Stewart snowflake punch, a Lily of the Valley sentiment and some gems from my stash.

Sparkles Christmas Challenge ~ Distress It

I’m running a bit late here due to a very busy September at work.  We have a new Sparkles Christmas Challenge for you for the month of October and our lovely team mate Debs, wants to see all your distressed looking cards and projects.  I know a lot of you like the Vintage/Distressed look so we expect a good number of entries.

We have two wonderful sponsors this month

A gift voucher from Fantastic Ribbons


And a lovely Christmas themed stamp and die from Marianne

For my card I used a tried and true method to make things look a bit distressed and that involves my Tim Holtz paper distressing tool, embossing powder and Distress Ink!

I started with a 5″ x 6.5″ card blank and added the brown card to it.  The sheet of vintage looking DP is from a Michaels own brand pack and I used the Distress Tool around all the edges and then edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I randomly dropped some Frantage Aged Gold EP and heated form below. I edged with Versamark Embossing Ink, making sure some went over the card face, and then put some Michael’s Opaque Sparkle EP onto a piece of scrap paper and dipped the inked card into it and then heat embossed that!

The music is from a free download I found on Flikr and I distressed it with the TH tool, tore it, curled it up, crumpled it all up and then inked with Vintage Photo DI, I think it looks suitably aged now!  The image is from Inkadinkado, called Holiday Words and it’s embossed in Burgundy, edged with Vintage Photo, cut out and mounted on to brown card.

I added some green ribbon and some Wild Orchid roses in cream and red.  The roses are pretty small so the card is still mostly flat for posting.

I hope you can join us this month, as it’s now October (how did that happen??) there really aren’t that many days left until Christmas!  And that’s a scary thought indeed!



Papertake Weekly ~ Take Your Pick (Distress Inks)

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra ~ Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp ~ Anything Goes

Fab ‘n’ Funky ~ Anything Christmas

Sparkles Monthly Challenge ~ A Sketch

It’s time for a new challenge at Sparkles Monthly Challenges, and this time round we have a sketch for you.  This means that you can make anything you want, any theme, any style, any anything!!

The sketch is on the challenge site, so pop over and have a look.  The winner and Top Picks from the last challenge have also been posted so it might be worth your while to check that out in case it’s you!

We have two sponsors again this month


I used a new stamp from Lili of the Valley to make my card.  It’s not one of their new releases, I got it at Christmas and gave it its first outing!  Also new is the La La Land banner die, which has been on my wish list for quite a while.

The top paper is from Dovecraft, the bottom striped piece is from an unknown pack that I won last year in a blog candy.  I covered the join with ribbon from JoAnn’s and a punched strip of scrap card using a Martha Stewart edge punch, and I used the same striped paper to make the banner.

The image was coloured with Prisma pencils and Crystal and Fruit Punch Stickles.  It was edged with a little peg stamp and Martha Stewart ink in Watermelon.  The three little heart sequins are “card confetti”, the type you’d put inside cards to make a mess when the recipient opened it!  They’re mirrored, so are difficult to photograph.

The sentiment came with the stamp and it’s also stamped with the Martha Stewart ink.  Both image and sentiment are mounted on to Mulberry type card from Fiskars.




Darnell’s NBUS Challenge ~ New Schtuff! (The stamp, the die, both papers.. need I go on??)



Penny Black & More At Allsorts ~ Anything Goes

Oh Christmas Tree At Sparkles Christmas Challenge

Whoosh, here we are again, back at the first of the month. And September too, Summer is all but over, the kids are back at school and the snow will soon be flying!

So it’s time to get organised with those Christmas cards and Sparkles Christmas is here to help you do just that. The winners and Top 5 of the last challenge have been posted and Caz is challenging us this month to show off our Christmas Trees this time around. Sounds like a nice, easy theme for you all.

We have two great sponsors again in Bugaboo Stamps and Di’s Digi Stamps who are each offering vouchers to their stores.

For my card this month I went with some tree themed but non-Christmas paper from Memory Box from the Brioche pack.  I LOVE Memory Box papers but they don’t seem to do their 6×6 packs anymore which is a shame.

As you can see, it’s a but non-traditional but I just love the colours.  The stamp is from Penny Black, coloured with Prisma pencils and copious amounts of glitter added to the tree, the ground, the little bird and the mouse’s hat and scarf.  None of which you can see of course!  I also added some Perfect Pearls and a snowflake gem.

The sentiment die cut is also from Memory Box and I put sparkly red gems in the corners of the card.  Very simple, flat for posting and a bit funky too!

Please pop over to the main Sparkles Christmas blog and see the beautiful inspiration we have for you this month, and I hope to see you there.

September At Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra

It’s September people, how did that happen?  Time to get a jump on all those Christmas cards.


As always we have the fantastic Jodi from Bugaboo Stamps sponsoring the challenge and the DT get to use her wonderful images for our cards.  I’ve used the super cute Deer Duo this month, but I’ve gone all dark and woodsy on you this time!

I used a white card blank with brown mounting card and paper from a free Raspberry Road pack.  I coloured the image with Prisma pencils and Stickles glitter and embossed the Fiskars sentiment in black, directly on to the paper.  A couple of chocolate coloured gems were the only other embellishment here.  I seem to have a thing for simple cards lately!

CHNC2 is an anything goes as long as it’s Christmas challenge so get linking those cards up, we love to see them all.


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